Former Raiders coach Jon Gruden loses bid for state high court reconsideration in NFL emails lawsuit

LAS VEGAS — Jon Gruden lost a bid for the Nevada Supreme Court to reconsider whether a contract interference and conspiracy lawsuit he filed against the NFL after he resigned as coach of the Las Vegas Raiders should be heard in court or in private arbitration.

Attorneys for Gruden, the league and an NFL spokesman didn’t respond to messages after notice was posted Monday on a court website. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Gruden can seek a hearing before all seven state Supreme Court justices.

Gruden’s lawyers sought the rehearing after a three-justice panel split in a May 14 decision that said the league can force the civil case out of state court and into arbitration that might be overseen by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Gruden’s lawsuit, filed in November 2021, alleges the league forced him to resign from the Raiders by leaking racist, sexist and homophobic emails that he sent many years earlier when he was at ESPN. Goodell is a named defendant in the case.

Two justices said Gruden understood the NFL constitution allowed for arbitration to resolve disputes, and said it wasn’t clear whether Goodell or a designated third-party arbitrator would hear Gruden’s case.

One justice wrote that allowing Goodell to arbitrate a dispute in which he is a named party would be “outrageous.”

Gruden was the Raiders’ head coach when the team moved in 2020 to Las Vegas from Oakland, California. He left the team in November 2021 with more than six seasons remaining on his record 10-year, $100 million contract.

The league appealed to the state high court after a judge in Las Vegas decided in May 2022 that Gruden’s claim that the league intentionally leaked only his documents could show evidence of “specific intent” or an act designed to cause a particular result.

Gruden was with ESPN when the emails were sent from 2011 to 2018 to former Washington Commanders executive Bruce Allen. They were found amid some 650,000 emails the league obtained during a workplace culture investigation of the Washington team.

Gruden is seeking monetary damages, alleging that selective disclosure of the emails and their publication by the Wall Street Journal and New York Times destroyed his career and scuttled endorsement contracts.

Gruden had previously coached in the NFL from 1990 to 2008, including stints in Oakland and with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whom he led to a Super Bowl title in 2003. He spent several years as a TV analyst for ESPN before being hired by the Raiders again in 2018.



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